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What Is God Up to in Your Life?

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2023 12:00 am

What Is God Up to in Your Life?

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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June 21, 2023 12:00 am

Practice persevering under pressure and learn to trust God and His process.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, June 21. Have you ever wondered, What is God up to in my life? To answer that question, today's podcast highlights the life of David. I want to talk about the question of what is God up to in your life.

And I'm sure all of us have asked that question many times. And sometime when the bottom drops out, we really want to know what he's up to. So let me tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to take the 19th through the 30th chapters of 1 Samuel. But what I want you to see is I want you to see what's happening in David's life right now.

And let me just give you a bird's eye capsule view of what's happened here. You'll recall the people of Israel said, You want a king? Samuel anointed him a king by the name of Saul. Saul continued to disobeyed God until Samuel said to Saul, God has taken the kingdom from you. He anointed one of Jesse's sons, the one who was the most least likely to be anointed, David, who is the shepherd. And then of course, he goes to meet Goliath and slays Goliath. He comes back a hero.

The women are dancing in the streets. They said, Saul killed his thousands, but David has killed his 10,000 which started the jealousy streak and saw that began to be exposed. And then of course, Jonathan and David began a beautiful loving friendship with each other that also made Saul's jealousy a little stronger. And so having played for Saul and quietness nerves and got him out of depression and living in his household finally because of having been attacked several times by Saul throwing the javelin at him, David has to leave. He's being forced to leave. So in this 19th chapter here, what I want us to see happens is this, that for the next 10 years, now listen, David knows that he's been anointed the king of Israel.

He knows that. And in spite of that, for the next 10 long years of David's life, he's not going to be king. For the next 10 years of his life, he's going to run like an outlaw. He's going to act like a traitor.

He's going to act like a crazy man. He's going to do things that mighty strong David who killed a bear and a lion and who took on Goliath, you would never expect him to do. But it's like God said to him, I'm going to make you king having anointed him in his own household as king.

Then it's as if God put David in the furnace of affliction for 10 long years of his life. And in these 10 years as David, knowing in his heart that he was to be king, everywhere he turned, Satan must have said to him, no way. Look, Saul is the king. Saul has the army. The people are still allegiance to Saul.

There is no way for you to be the king of Israel. And yet God had anointed him king and through all of these things, he protected him. Now, what was God up to in his life? Well, maybe not a whole lot more than he's up to in your life and my life.

You may not be in the valley. You may not be running from anything from God. You may feel that right. Everything is just right. And what is just right? Whatever God has made is a recipe for your life for that moment.

That's what's just right. But as we asked the question, what is God up to? Let me just give you a list of things that God could be up to in your life, maybe up to in your life in the future. Or when you're looking, trying to find out what in the world he's doing, it may be one of these several things. First thing is this, whatever God's up to in your life, remember this, it is for your good and his glory.

He's not ever up to anything that doesn't fit with that point. Whatever he's up to is for your good and his glory. Now you could ask David, David, you think whatever you're going through is for your good? No way.

How could it be for my good? David certainly didn't need any new training. He was or had already proven his strategy as a soldier and as a fighter. He certainly didn't need any more courage.

He certainly didn't need anything that he could think of. What in the world could be good out of all of this? But you see, God and his omniscience knew that David, listen, this fellow who is now a renegade and an outlaw and an outcast, this young man, God knew had already been chosen to be the greatest king in the history of the nation of Israel.

What do we say? The son of David, what do we say? The city of David. David was to be the greatest king in the history of Israel. And God knew that it was for his good to put him in the valley and prepare him for his kingship. It didn't seem to be what David needed. You see, we might say, well, look like to me, David's education should have been in the household of Saul learning the courtesies of being a king. But God was training him to be a mighty man of God that you and I thousands of years later would say there was a man the Bible speaks of as being a man after God's own heart and his name was David. Well, that's the first thing. The second thing I want you to notice here is this. God may be up to something else in your life, and that is he may be sifting you for future service.

And I believe this is exactly what he was doing in David's life at this point. Now you and I know we need sifting. We don't like to be sifted. Nobody likes to be sifted. We may like to be cuddled a little bit, but we don't want to be sifted.

You know, just keep rubbing it and rubbing it, rub it till it rubs all the grain out. What was God doing in David's life? He was building character sifting out of his life. Those things that God knew should not be there if he were going to be king.

You and I could skip all over the second Samuel, which we'll come to later on. And here is this mighty man of valor whom God is out here in the wilderness training who falls again. He never was perfect. He never could be perfect because he was a sinner saved by the grace of God.

I know not to be king, but never perfect. God drove him into the valley, put him through the fire to do what? Sifting in his life.

And listen, watch this. Whenever God sifted David, he always was preparing him for a blessing to someone else. When God is sifting your life, don't look back and see your tears and count your sorrows and your heartaches and your burdens to get all wrapped up in that. When God is sifting, you know what God's doing? While he's sifting you, he's blessing somebody else.

Now we don't always see that. If we could just see how someone else is being blessed, we think, well, I can take it. But God is in the blessing business while he's in the sifting business.

The third thing. And here is a very important lesson I think that God oftentimes would have us to remember. And that is one of the things he may be up to is that he may be up to teaching us that his promises are not always fulfilled according to our expectations. God said to David, you're going to be king. You're going to be king.

Well, I can imagine, you know, what would you have thought if God had anointed you as a young man to be king? And you'd say, well, you know, I'm ready. And a few weeks go by and say, I'm ready. And a few months go by and think, well, I'm really getting ready. And two years go by and think, Lord, I've been ready. Sometime we get discouraged when God makes us wait. What do we do?

Here's what we do. God gives us a promise. We say, praise the Lord, I'm ready. And God doesn't do anything. Praise the Lord, I'm standing on the promise. And God doesn't do anything. Praise the Lord, hallelujah, I'm standing on the promise. And everything is silent from God. And after we've shouted and praised and jumped up and down hallelujah all weekend, we said, Lord, what in the world is going on?

Why don't you do something? And you see, God's silence always has a very specific divine design in it. He's silent in order to do what? To teach us to trust Him when we can't see one eye odor of reason for doing so.

Well, there's something else I want you to see here, and that's this. I believe one of the things that oftentimes He's doing in our life, He's teaching us to persevere under pressure. Because you see, it is pressure that drains and sifts and burns and shatters and breaks. It is the pressure that builds quality.

It is the pressure that brings out quality. And you see, God kept David under pressure for 10 long years. I mean, in 10 years, there was never a time when Saul said in a telegram and said, David, relax for six months, I don't want to fight anymore.

But he was continuously having to hide. Listen, Jesus Christ living within us is our buoyancy. Anytime we think we're going to sink, you can't sink.

If you'll just remember who's on the inside. Look in Psalm 91, beautiful Psalm, you probably know the first verse by heart for sure. He says, in Psalm 91, he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Listen, you and I have the privilege of living under the shadow of Almighty God.

Because what did He say in His Word? He says, I'll never do what? I'll never leave thee nor forsake thee. That means He's close by. If He's close by, we're living in His shadow, living under His wings. Whatever pressure Almighty God allows to get to us while we're living under His wings, and under the shadow of the Almighty, it is only there temporarily for our good, and God will use the pressure for our good. He wants us to learn to persevere, not to weep and moan and give up and just say, Oh God, what in the world's happened? Because you see, if pressure is there to build character, God's going to keep it there until we do what? Until we are willing and able to be able to see that we're to be sustained by Him. As long as we crumble under pressure, He's going to recycle us through.

Now some of you probably feel like you've been recycled and recycled and recycled. He's going to keep on cycling us through a similar pressure until we learn to bear up under it. And we're to bear up in His strength, not our own.

All right, let's move on down if you will. Sometimes the purpose is to reveal our weaknesses. Now if someone had asked David, before he went out to fight Goliath, two or three days afterwards, David, would you ever stoop, any time in your life, would you ever even think about stooping before your enemies to act like a crazy man, slobbering from the mouth, scribbling on the floor, rolling on the floor in your clothes, acting like a crazy man because you are afraid of enemies? Imagine the possibility that no way any man who'd walk out with a sling and five stones and kill a giant and cut off his head and make one of the most beautiful speeches a man ever made to his enemy, why would he ever scrabble on the floor? But my friend, let me tell you something, there's not a one of us in this place tonight who knows what we're really like until the pressure gets on and the temptation stares us in the face and the burden comes rolling down upon us and we see it coming.

We don't know what we're like. So what does God do? Oftentimes in the process of what's happening in our lives and whatever he's up to, sometimes the purpose is to reveal our weaknesses. And you see, we're not going to live and work and walk and worship from our point of weakness until we recognize that we are.

And if you'll read through the details of these 10 chapters, you'll find out how often God revealed David's weakness to him. Sometimes he was scared. Now here he was frightened of a man, of course he knew him well, but he wasn't even anywhere close by. The same David has stood face to face, could see the eyeballs of Goliath and killed him right in sight. And here he was running. You'll discover that David became a frightened man, became an untruthful.

That is, let me put it this way. You know what was in David in these chapters? He was a liar. He was treacherous. He was murderous. He was a killer. He was hard. There are times when he was cold, but there are times which you'll see in this chapter where he says, no, let's don't do that. In other words, he could have killed a whole bunch of folks on one occasion here, but he said, no, that's not necessary.

No point in doing that. But you see, none of us are consistent at all times. All of us have our highs and lows, our ups and downs, our ins and outs. Strong one day, weak the next.

Wouldn't think about it, think about it the next day. You see, one of the things that God has to continue to do is to continually keep us recognizing the fact, brother, we're dependent on him. Lest we really fall, we must ever be conscious of how absolutely weak we are. And one of the things that God is up to in our lives at different times is to expose us to our weakness. You ask him to forgive and you fret and fume, can't forgive yourself. God forgives you just like that.

You know what? He knew you were weak to begin with. You see, listen, God never tests you to find out whether you're strong or not. So why in the world does he put these tests to us not to find out whether we are strong or weak? He already knows that. He does it to show us how weak we are and that we would respond properly to say, Lord, I need you.

Oh God, I need you. My soul, wait there only upon God for my strength is to be found in him. My salvation is to be found in him.

David learned what kind of character he had on the inside. None of us like that. All of us want everybody to think we're just super, but we are not. The real truth is we're a bunch of sinners.

Saved by the grace of God aren't worth anything apart from Jesus Christ. But when he gets inside of you, he says the countenance of Jesus Christ himself can radiate upon our faces and in our hearts. Well, the next thing, and this is a super point here, listen to this. What is he up to in our life?

Get this. Sometimes what he's doing in our life, he's trying to teach us, don't you remove the obstacle between what I promised you and where you are at this point. David came upon Saul.

He could have taken his life. David said, no, I can't do that. I'm not going to touch God's anointed. And I believe here's a real principle for us that sometimes we see the promise that God's given us. And then we see something that stands between that and we see how we could remove that.

So we said, well, I can take care of that. God says, don't touch that. So, oh, but you know, after all God, here's what you promised and I believe I can handle that. There are some things God does not want us tampering with. When he makes us a promise, there may be 25 obstacles between you and what you believe God wants you to have. When you start trying to eliminate the obstacles and remove all the hindrances in your own strength, in your own time and your own wisdom, you're going to get yourself in trouble every time. You see, this is why we have to learn to say, Lord, if that's what you want, then I'm willing to wait until you provide it in your own time. And God in his own time will remove the obstacle. And friend, when you and I have what God wants us to have, when God wants us to have it, you always enjoy it most. But when you get it before God wants you to have it, you're headed for trouble.

All right, let me just close with this last one. And that is, I believe one of the things that God's up to in our life and all the difficulties, he is in the process of demonstrating to us his faithfulness. I believe of all the qualities of God that he wants us to see and to be able to perceive and to be able to understand and experience and enjoy and reap the benefits of is his faithfulness. Ten long years, David ran. And then the scripture says in that 30th chapter, that Saul and his sons lost their life. And of course, we come to second Samuel, he's made the king, but listen to Psalm 40.

Look in verse one. Look at this Psalm, God's faithfulness. Listen, I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the mire clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings. He's put a new song in my heart, even praise unto our God, many shall see it in fear and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud nor such as turn aside the lies. Many O Lord my God are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us would they cannot be reckoned up and ought unto thee.

If I will declare and speak of them, there are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering thou does not desire. Mine ears has thou opened, burnt offerings and sin offerings thou has not required. Then said I, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea thy law is written in my heart.

And you can go on through the passage. Here's a psalm of praise and adoration. God had proved himself faithful. What did David say?

He said, great is thy faithfulness. And you see, it's not where you and I have been that matters, it's where we're headed. And the one thing you and I can do tonight, it doesn't make any difference where we're going, at what point you are in God's plan for your life.

Here's one thing you and I ought to carry with us every single day. Wherever God leads us we know that our faithful God is already there. And he has plotted our path every step of the way from where we're going to end up all the way back to this very night, this very moment, this very place. Our faithful God has made this promise. He will go with us every single step and moment of the way. Thank you for listening to What Is God Up To In Your Life? If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-21 03:51:33 / 2023-06-21 03:59:31 / 8

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